Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lafayette Afro Rock Band

Lafayette Afro Rock Band - various tracks "Scorpion Flower" and "Congo" - The first track is embedded at the bottom of this riveting post about terrorist Carlos the Jackal at The Cargo Culte, the second from the 2008 compilation Strut Sessions (listen)

Lafayette Afro Rock Band was a French band forming as the Bobby Boy Congress in 1970 on Long Island, hoping to try their fortunes in the burgeoning American funk trade, unfortunately operating in the shadows of the more glamorous Funkadelic. To my ears this group offers a bridge from Sly and the Family Stone's re-funked hippie jams straight through the goofy interplanetary funksmanship of George Clinton on into the symphonic jams of Chicago. The band couldn't cut it in the States and moved back to France, changed their name to Ice, and became the house band for Pierre Jaubert's Parisound studio. The North African population of the Barbès district of Paris in which they often performed had a profound influence on the group's sound, and they changed their name accordingly.

Their greatest legacy are two tracks: "Darkest Light" from the 1972 album Malik and "Hihache" from the 1973 Soul Makossa album, samples of of which became the foundation of more seminal hip-hop singles than one can reasonably name. These songs are offered in their original glory below.

Most of the Information from this post came from their Wikipedia entry. If anyone has a copy of Depression Blues, the collaborative album the band did with Mississippi-Chicago blues pianist Sunnyland Slim, give me a holler.

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